Every year, there are countless franchise exhibitions and trade shows organized around the world and most, if not all, see tens of thousands of visitors turning up. If done right, these events are a great way to increase a brand profile and generate more potential franchise leads.
However, participating in such events do not come cheap. From the start, you are looking at renting a booth space to showcase your franchise brand. Furthermore, there are additional expenses like printing of materials and decorative collaterals for the booth. Not to mention, if you're participating inbound from an overseas country, the expenditure balloons with the additional costs of travel, lodging, subsistence and maybe even entertainment expenses. Of course, there is also the hard truth that you may not generate any franchisees from the event and see your investment go up in smoke. Furthermore, there is also the issue of logistics arrangements coupled with having the right people to represent the franchise to optimally engage visitors during the event.
So Why Do So Many Franchisors Still Participate In These Franchise Events?
1. Exposure To High Quality Prospective Franchisees
Visitors to franchise events are typically there for a reason - to find a suitable franchise opportunity. Most of these visitors have committed to leaving the comfort of their houses to actively learn first-hand about available franchise opportunities. Of course, while there will be visitors who could simply be there just to take a look at what's happening, a good number are high quality prospects who will be attending the event with an objective. Once you miss the opportunity to engage with them, you'll probably only get to see them at the next franchise event (if they haven't acquired a franchise yet).
2. Exposure To The Industry
One of the main reasons for participating in franchise events, other than to generate new franchisees, is also to increase brand awareness not just within the franchise industry but overall as a brand too. While a visitor may not be looking to take up your franchise concept, they could find your product or service interesting: try it, like it, become a become a customer and recommend to others. So with a good experience, the ripple effects thereafter from a potential would-be customer are almost endless. Moreover, some of these franchise events receive press and media coverage so passing up your participation also means giving up the potential chance for coverage in any of those publishing avenues.
3. Exposure To The Competitive Franchise Arena
Being at the franchise event allows you to discover what other franchisors are doing to attract new franchisees. Whether it is a marketing tactic or a decorative design, with the amount of franchise opportunities available, you will be needing every advantage to know how to stand out. From another point of view, although you could have an awesome franchise concept that is profitable but to prospective franchisees, it could be simply down to an elimination process just because you were not there to impress them.
There's no denying that the expenses involved for participating in franchise exhibitions and trade shows are high. Nonetheless, instead of basing decisions focused on financial benefits, perhaps franchisors could take another look at how these franchise exhibitions and trade shows could provide further benefits other than just new franchisees. Meeting face-to-face with people always provides that extra human connection that would be otherwise difficult to establish. But that's not to say take part in any and every franchise event, rather pick and choose which ones will provide the most value that relates your growth objectives for the franchise business.